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Today in Austria: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday

Find out what's going on today in Austria with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Sebastian Kurz
JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Regional measures to contain pandemic in east Austria to be discussed today

Known as the ‘Eastern Summit’, a crisis meeting will be held today with the Ministry of Health and the federal states of Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland to discuss the coronavirus situation in east Austria and possible regional measures, the APA news agency reports.

In the other federal states, however, no further tightening or relaxation are planned.

Austria’s federal and state government met on Monday to discuss the next steps in the pandemic, but decided to maintain the status quo, despite a rise in infections and hospitalisations in east Austria, as The Local reported yesterday.

SEE ALSO: Austria to extend coronavirus lockdown measures

Highest ever coronavirus numbers in intensive care in Vienna

The seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 240.4. The number is now highest in Vienna (321.9), followed by Salzburg (300.3). The value is lowest in Vorarlberg (66.7), Carinthia (187.1) and Styria (187.3).

The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Interior has reported 2,412 new coronavirus cases within the last 24 hours. There are currently 1,983 people in hospital treatment due to the coronavirus, 437 of them in intensive care units.

In Vienna, 162 people were being treated in intensive care on Monday for coronavirus, more than at the height of the second wave in autumn.

Kurz will not be getting ‘one extra jab’

Austrian newspapers Der Standard and Wiener Zeitung have picked up on a report in the Financial Times, according to which the EU does not want to grant Austria any extra vaccination doses as part of a distribution of 10 million additional BioNTech/Pfizer doses throughout the EU.

The FT quotes an unnamed EU official saying “Kurz will not be getting one extra jab”.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, along with five other central and eastern European Union heads of government, had previously urged Brussels to find a “correction mechanism” to fix what they called the unfair distribution of coronavirus vaccines within the bloc.

FPÖ accuses Greens of being behind Ibiza video

The leader of Austria’s right wing FPÖ parliamentary group Christian Hafenecker believes Austria’s Green Party were involved in the publication of the Ibiza video in 2019.

The secretly filmed video caused a political scandal which brought down Austria’s coalition government after two FPÖ politicians were shown discussing circumventing the law on party funding and taking over the media with the alleged niece of a Russian oligarch in Ibiza.

The Austrian newspapers Die Presse and Der Standard cover the latest developments.

READ MORE: Austrian far right leader resigns over Ibiza affair

Note: A previous version of this story said it was Monday. No, it was in fact Tuesday. But we could’ve sworn it felt like Monday. 

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TRAVEL NEWS

LATEST: What are Austria’s current Covid-19 rules?

Travellers entering the country no longer need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test, but masks are still mandatory in some places.

LATEST: What are Austria's current Covid-19 rules?

From Monday, May 16th, travellers coming into Austria no longer need to present proof that they have either been vaccinated against Covid-19, have tested negative for the disease, or recently recovered from it.

Previously, the so-called 3G rules were in place for all people coming into Austria, with very few exceptions.

The government over the weekend dropped the requirements just ahead of warmer months, stating that the epidemiological situation no longer justified them.

On Sunday, 15th, Austria reported 3,777 new coronavirus cases after just under 110,000 PCR tests were taken. In total, 807 people are currently hospitalised with the disease, and 62 are in intensive care units. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 18,303 people have died from Covid-19 in Austria.

Despite dropping the entry requirements, the federal government reiterated that the rules could change, mainly if a variant of concern is found.

READ ALSO: Austria extends Covid regulations as experts warn of autumn resurgence

Domestically, Austria still has a few coronavirus restrictions in place, including an FFP2 mask mandate in some areas.

These are the latest rules you need to be aware of:

FFP2 mask mandate

The obligation to wear an FFP2 mask only applies in enclosed spaces of hospitals, elderly and nursing homes, public transport (including stops and stations), taxis, customer areas of vital trade, such as supermarkets, and administrative buildings.

The mask mandate is no longer in place for enclosed places like gyms, restaurants and bars, and cultural establishments, but masks are still recommended.

READ ALSO: Tourists: What to do if you test positive for Covid in Austria

Isolation after a positive test

After the fifth day of isolation and at least 48 hours without symptoms, you can end quarantine for mild or asymptomatic cases.

However, there is a “traffic restriction” for another five days, with a mask mandate and no entry permitted in gastronomy venues, health and care homes, and events during this period.

READ ALSO: Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

In order to obtain an early lifting of the restrictions, a free PCR test can be carried out. If the test is negative or with a CT value (short for Cycle Threshold and is the gold standard for detecting Covid-19) above 30, the isolation can be lifted.

If the value is below 30, then you must remain in isolation.

Vienna doesn’t follow the ‘traffic restriction’, so the only way to end the 10-day isolation is with a PCR test (negative or CT value below 30) after two symptom-free days.

You can find more information on federal restrictions on the government website here.

The 3G rule

A 3G rule (proof that a person has either been vaccinated against Covid-19, recently recovered from the disease or has a negative test) is generally only needed for visitors, employees and service providers in hospitals and care homes.

READ ALSO: Ba.4 and Ba.5 Covid variants detected in Austria: What you need to know

In Vienna, on the other hand, the rules are stricter.

Visitors and workers need to have the 3G proof plus a negative PCR test. However, the city has dropped 2G rules for gastronomy and nightclubs – the only places where it was still required to show proof of vaccination or recovery.

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